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Introducing "the Dutiful Daughter"

A 70-Something Gets Real about Caregiving for her 90-Something Mother

I have read many articles on caregiving for an aging parent, but I was definitely not ready for this! My mother, who is 96, has definite wants and can be stubborn. She is a very alert and mentally capable woman who continues to keep all her own bookkeeping and personal business.

We moved in together 21 years ago when she was still working. Promises were made on how living together would work for us. However, I guess my strong ethnic upbringing won over me setting boundaries. Because of that, now these years later it’s difficult for me to put my foot down where it is necessary. I worry I sound mean instead of firm, bossy instead of understanding.

After a couple of falls, one of which was serious, I finally had to insist she use a walker. Leaving her alone is a concern. She absolutely refuses to have an adult sitter come when my husband and I have doctors appointments so we are trying out a Life Alert system. As you can gather, we don’t do much together without mom. Lucky for me, my husband is an angel. We work together to make mom happy and cared for. But at a cost.

Please remember to find time for yourself. Time to re-energize yourself, time with friends etc. Eldercare can be a time to get closer to your parent or a time to rip your hair out. Most times both. Know your worth and love yourself as you travel this long and winding road.

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1 Comment

E.A. Chen
E.A. Chen
Mar 08

Thanks for sharing this, DD! What have you found helpful during the rip-your-hair-out moments?

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